(If You are Caregiving for Family Members)
As you are growing up, I bet you never thought twice about your parents getting older and needing help. I know I was so busy as a kid, just growing up. Then as an adult, I was busy living my life. Still not seeing my parents begin to age. When I did finally see, really see that they were aging it is almost too late to put things into place for them. The best-case scenario is to start talking to your parents, about what they want when they can no longer care for themselves when you are in your 20’s or 30’s.
More and more parents/parent are opting to stay home as long as they can. None of them want to go into an assisted living place or nursing home. I do not either. So, as you are helping your family plan for the parents/parent take time to start thinking of your wishes as well.
Here is one area, that I find I am having to stay on top of current trends. Even before my parents were not able to do things as much for themselves. It is all the scam artists that are out there, and the identity theft people. This is hard enough for us to stay on top of things for ourselves but, as our parents age, they are not on top of current trends and scams. I have a group of friends that help me to stay on top of my stuff and that of my family. It does take a group of friends to help each other out. One should never rely totally upon themselves. Accept help where and when you can get it.
- I can make suggestions from what I have found out and use so that maybe it will help you. We made sure the parents/parent computer had virus protection and firewalls.
- Make sure that the cell phone is protected also. (make sure you have your number under emergency contact numbers to be called for your parents/parent)
- Install a camera that records at the front door. (having this helps you also for when things get delivered, such as groceries and things that were purchased from Amazon, etc) This way you can also stay on top of porch pirates.
- I would also suggest that you have a copy of their passwords for important stuff like banks and utilities. This way if a problem arises you can take care of it immediately.
- Possibly install a camera inside the main living area so you can check on the welfare of the parents/parent
- Have alerts set up from the bank to text them if any money goes out of their account. (or maybe to you if they are not able to respond)
- Help them to change their passwords regularly on important stuff such as banks etc.
- Help educate them about telemarketers. In Colorado we have a do not call list. Show them how that works.
- I would make sure enough people go to visit them, so they do not get lonely and depressed.
- If work is being done inside or outside of the house, make sure that someone the parents/parent trust is also there.
- If your parents/parent can get lost easily you might turn on their GPS on their phones so they can be found.
AARP Article on MONEY Scams & Fraud
To identify and avoid scams, the committee suggests remembering these tips:
- Con artists force you to make decisions fast and may threaten you.
- Scammers disguise their real phone numbers, using fake caller IDs.
- Fraudsters sometimes pretend to be a government agency, such as the IRS.
- Con artists try to get you to give them personal information, like your Social Security number or account numbers.
- Before giving out your credit card number or money, (I would include their health insurance information in this list) ask a friend or family member for advice about the situation.
- Beware of offers of free travel.
- Have them not enter contests
- Do not mail in warranty cards
- Have them not fill out surveys
- If they have a Facebook page, do not share personal information
- Buy them a shredder to shred all their mail and old bills
Call AARP’s free Fraud Watch helpline at 877-908-3360 to speak with volunteers trained in spotting scams.
I hope that you find some of this information helpful. Do not be afraid to ask for help when you find you are the caregiver. There is so much available.
Remember to Be Safe, Be Healthy